Billy Butler to Sign with Athletics: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Billy Butler's quest to find a team has reportedly reached its final destination. The former Kansas City Royals designated hitter is a free agent for the first time in his career, so this was a new experience.  According to Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors, Butler has agreed to a contract with the Oakland Athletics:  USA Today's Bob Nightengale added: ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney also confirmed the terms of the contract.  If ever there was a case study on the market value of designated hitters in this era of baseball, Butler was it. He's a 28-year-old hitting specialist incapable of playing a position, at least in any kind of effective manner, and he had the worst offensive season (.271/.323/.379) of his career in 2014.  The Royals, whose payroll climbed to over $90 million for the first time last season, didn't exercise their $12.5 million option on Butler. At the time, Kansas City general manager Dayton Moore ...


Pablo Sandoval’s Reported Price Is Justifiable for Giants

Entering the offseason, general manager Brian Sabean and the San Francisco Giants front office faced a question regarding free agent Pablo Sandoval that seemingly had no correct answer. On the one hand, Kung Fu Panda has been unquantifiably crucial to the Giants' three World Series runs in the last five years. But on the other, he was expected to be in line for a major payday. Not only did he once again rake in the postseason, but his brother/agent recently talked about seeking respect. "The good part of this is he’ll get a chance to explore his value on the market, see who can really appreciate him and his work," said Michael Sandoval, via the Boston Herald's Michael Silverman. Translation: Brother is going to get paid. Like, nine-figures paid. But the Giants' once impossible decision (Sandoval has been a San Francisco hero over the past half-decade, but do his numbers really command a bloated ...


Final Report Card Grades for Mariners Prospects at the Arizona Fall League

Seven Seattle Mariners prospects concluded play at the Arizona Fall League last weekend. The Mariners sent three position players and four pitchers to the league, which lasted nearly a month-and-a-half and attracted some of the top prospects in baseball. Among those representing Seattle were Taijuan Walker and D.J. Peterson, two of the top young players in the club's system. However, Walker left Arizona early due to personal reasons, as reported by Mike Axisa of CBSSports.com. Peterson struggled at the plate as well, failing to live up to some lofty expectations. Although the two main attractions may have been disappointing, Seattle did get good AFL performances out of some other players. Here's how all seven of the Mariners prospects graded out. All stats via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted.Begin Slideshow


Nick Swisher Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz, Speculation Surrounding Indians 1B

After two subpar seasons as a member of the Cleveland Indians, Nick Swisher's days with the Tribe could soon be numbered.According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, the Indians are considering trading the 33-year-old first baseman and outfielder in exchange for a player with a similarly large contract:Swish is currently under contract until the end of the 2017 MLB season at $14 million annually, per Spotrac.com. After hitting .208 with just eight home runs and 42 RBI in 2014, there is no question that there are concerns regarding his ability to live up to that deal.    He was limited to just 97 games with various injuries, including a knee ailment that ended his season in August. Because of that, Indians general manager Chris Antonetti is considering moving Swisher back to the outfield on a full-time basis should he remain with the team, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com:It's a very real possibility ...


Giancarlo Stanton Raged at Miami Nightclub After Signing Landmark Contract

Giancarlo Stanton is rich. You and I are not.  Perhaps this explains why we weren’t slamming $20,000 champagne and presumably playing high-stakes ostrich polo with Stanton inside a Miami nightclub this week. TMZ reports that the Miami Marlins outfielder celebrated his new, $325 million contract at Miami’s Delano Hotel Monday night. He schmoozed, took pictures with fans and uncorked a bottle of champagne worth roughly the tag price of a Dodge Dart.  Stanton cracked the top on a $20,000 bottle of Moet Nectar Imperial Rose Methuselah Leopard Luxury Edition—a rare, six-liter bottle wrapped in 22-carat gold leaf. It cures shingles...or just tastes really good.  TMZ’s report alleges that Stanton was out until 3 a.m. Tuesday morning in the company of a “well-known Miami party queen” named “Julz.” This woman supposedly purchased him the bottle of high-quality leopard wine. So no, the new owner of the most lucrative sports contract in American history did not pick up ...


Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 Million Megadeal Proves Wild MLB Spending Will Not Stop

Stop being surprised. It has been happening for years, and the end is nowhere in sight. Whether you think it is bad or good, the level of care from the payers and the payees is virtually nonexistent. There will always be a market, and there will always be someone willing to meet the price. Giancarlo Stanton’s 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins and owner Jeffrey Loria is more proof that Major League Baseball’s spending habits will not stop. To call this latest deal exorbitant is inaccurate, simply because it is right in line with what MLB teams have been doing since the start of this latest millennium. MLB loot is nothing new. Baseball owns 21 of top 22 richest contracts in sports history. Boxer Floyd Mayweather ($180 mil) on list at 12. — Rob Parker (@RobParkerLocal4) November 18, 2014 Regardless of how those contracts have played out, are playing out or will play ...


Zach Duke to White Sox: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Veteran left-handed pitcher Zach Duke has bounced around the majors over the last several seasons, but he has reportedly signed a multi-year deal with the Chicago White Sox, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports: MLB Roster Moves later confirmed the signing: Duke, 31, started his career as a starting pitcher with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005 but made the transition to the bullpen when he was traded to Arizona after the 2010 season. He floated from Washington to Cincinnati before making his way to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2014.     In a career-high 74 appearances (58.2 innings) last season, Duke amassed an impressive 74 strikeouts, 12 holds and an ERA of 2.45. The White Sox needed pitching depth in the seventh and eighth innings, and they've now added a player who specializes in those moments. With the ability to shut down left-handed hitters (holding lefties to a .198 batting average, per Baseball-Reference.com), Duke will ...


MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Jon Lester, Jason Heyward and More

The MLB offseason figures to be a busy one for many teams across the league, and we can expect to see many familiar faces in new places once the dust settles. Some notable transactions have already come to fruition, most recently a one-year deal for A.J. Burnett with the Pittsburgh Pirates. With a healthy amount of coveted players sitting on the free-agent market or rumored to be involved in trade talks, there will be no shortage of gossip floating around the Web any time soon. A few pieces of information regarding some of the league's well-known players have recently surfaced from trusted sources across the Internet. Here's a look at the latest and greatest rumors as a frenzied offseason continues.   Jon Lester Latest Lester really stepped up during his short time with the Oakland Athletics last season. Through 11 starts with the club, he allowed 66 hits, 20 earned runs and 16 walks while ...


Giancarlo Stanton Taking Big Bucks, Bigger Risk with Marlins, Loria

Giancarlo Stanton is about to ink a deal of epic proportions. The Miami Marlins are close to signing the 25-year-old outfielder to the richest contract in baseball history: an unprecedented 13 years and a ghastly $325 million. The news was first reported by Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. According to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the opt-out clause will come when Stanton is 30. The deal is crazy on all kinds of levels. Stanton is coming off an MVP-caliber season in which he hit 37 home runs and 105 RBI while sporting a .288 average, .950 OPS and 6.5 WAR. Not eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season, it was long assumed that Stanton's days in Miami would come to an end sooner or later. After all, the Marlins have a history of dealing away their best players, and Stanton had made it clear in the past that he was unhappy ...


Ranking the Best MLB Power Pitchers Available in Free Agency, Trade Talks

When we think power and baseball, our thoughts immediately drift to the steroid era, with its larger-than-life sluggers putting up video game-like home run totals. Make no mistake about it: Baseball is still enjoying the benefits of power, but where it rests has shifted roughly 60 feet and six inches from the batter's box out to the pitcher's mound. Welcome to the era of the power pitcher.  There's no shortage of power arms available this winter, whether it be via free agency or a trade—perhaps the most impressive grouping of power arms that we've seen in recent memory. How do we define a power pitcher? For our purposes, we'll set the following guidelines: A pitcher must have logged at least 100 innings in 2014, had an average fastball velocity of at least 90 mph and struck out at least eight batters per nine innings of work. You'd be surprised at how many pitchers are bringing ...


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